Amendment Bill Consultation Process Successfully Concluded
This week, a team of representatives of the WCED met with school governing body organisations, the educator unions, school principals, as well as representatives from higher education organisations for consultation on the draft bill.
Prior to that, the provincial cabinet approved the WCED's request to publish the draft Western Cape Provincial School Education Amendment Bill for public comment in February 2010, with the closing date 16 April 2010.
These formal meetings were productive, informative and positive.
All comments will now be taken into consideration and any necessary amendments to the draft bill will be made. Thereafter, the bill will enter a formal process of finalisation involving both the Western Cape Cabinet and the legislature.
The amendment bill is ultimately aimed at ensuring that the highest quality of schooling possible is available to learners in schools staffed by committed, competent teachers.
The bill also creates greater levels of accountability in the system.
It sets out to achieve the following objectives:
- Allow a greater focus on the provision of a quality basic education to the learners of the Western Cape
- Bring the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act, 1997, in line with the current education landscape.
- Expand the power of the Provincial Minister responsible for education to determine provincial education policy and the power to the Head of the Western Cape Education Department to make certain rules.
- Make provision for the inspection of schools to monitor performance and compliance
- Regulate anew the establishment and the functions of an education council for the province
- Make greater provision for schools for learners with special education needs
- Authorise the Provincial Minister to prescribe certain norms and standards regarding basic infrastructure and capacity in public schools
- Place further prohibitions on dangerous objects, illegal drugs and liquor on school premises
- Provide greater powers to conduct search and seizure operations at schools
- Reduce the time period for lodging of certain grievances
- Prohibit political activities at schools during school times.
I am confident that all necessary processes will be concluded early in the second half of this year.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377